[Sponsored Post] How much further can TVs go?

It’s funny when I think about the world my children live in – a world of games consoles, tablet computers, super-powerful desktop and laptop PCs, and high definition TVs - and compare it to the world of my own childhood where games consoles had blocky graphics and poor sound effects, tablet computers were the stuff of science fiction, a ‘powerful’ computer would take up a whole room, and the television was a bulky box with, now that I think about it, pretty poor screen resolution.

Yes, that makes me sound like an old man, but I’m only 35… it’s just that I think technology has moved on with increasing speed in recent years.

Take televisions, for example. I haven’t long upgraded my DVD player to a Blu-Ray device, and I’m impressed at the difference it makes when watching on a 1080i television. Details can be seen that were just blurs before. I once had a friend say, “HD isn’t worth it, you can’t see the difference” but, and I’m sure I’m not just trying to convince myself that it is, I think it makes a real difference.

So imagine the difference pushing the resolution of the screen even higher would make. A 1080p television screen runs at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but Sony have recently started producing a range of TVs at 3840 x 2160 pixels. They call them the 4K TV.

The 4K TV represents a doubling of the resolution over the 1080p standard, and I find myself wondering what difference it will make. Part of me says, “1080p is already incredibly sharp” and that an even higher resolution just isn’t needed. But another part of me recalls that I thought the telly of my childhood was pretty sharp too and now just looks fuzzy by comparison to HD. So, will Ultra HD make me think the same about today’s HD TVs? It’s hard to say without actually sitting down and trying a 4K TV for an extended period of time, but I have to think it will make some difference.

The tricky part, I guess, will be in finding the extra bandwidth to enable Ultra HD broadcasts as a doubling in the number of pixels displayed brings a corresponding increase in the amount of information that must be transmitted. Sure, video compression will help alleviate that a little, but when we’re talking about super high resolutions you don’t want to be compressing the video stream too much otherwise viewers will start to see compression artifacts like blocky areas or ghosting.

The only question I have now is, how much further can televisions go? Would it be feasible to double the resolution again? Would it, in fact, make any difference to double the resolution again? I guess there must be a point beyond which the human eye just can’t preceive any more pixels (one calcuation puts the resolution of the human eye at 576 megapixels) and the fact that we don’t sit right on top of our TV screens must mean we miss out on some detail. So I’m throwing this open to gather your thoughts – why not comment and let us know how far you think TVs can, or should, go? We’d love to know what you think.

While you’re mulling over your thoughts, why not check out this infographic from Sony about how TVs have progressed over the years?

TV: Past vs Present - Infographic

Courtesy of Sony


Sponsored Post - I will receive financial payment for posting this article. Please be aware that I will never accept offers of paid posts where I am required only to give a positive opinion – objectivity is important to me and you can be sure that what I write, even in paid posts, is what I really think.

[Sponsored Post] Hybrid laptops

While I do most of my work on a desktop computer, I can’t quite imagine life without a laptop as well. The option to work on the move, or even work on the sofa, is always a good one to have. What amazes me is how much Laptops have come on in recent years. They were always seen as inferior to desktop computers but I would argue that the performance gap is much smaller now than is has been in the past. In fact, I find myself able to play games (always a good test of performance) on my laptop that my dekstop would struggle with.

I’m impressed at how laptops pack so much technology into a small package, with many models combining sleekness with performance. Sony have been working on an updated range of VAIO Laptops that, they say, provide that sleekness/performance combo.

So what have they been up to? Well, there’s a line of slimmer and lighter screens that offer a wider viewing angle than previous versions, with most Vaio models using LED technology to improve battery life. The thing that has me most interested, though, is the VAIO Tap 11.

I see tablets as the next evolution of laptops – much more mobile, easy to use, and you can still get plenty done on them. There are times, though, when I’m using a tablet and become aware that you can’t quite do everything you could on a “proper” computer. The Tap 11 is a hybrid designed to offer laptop-level performance in a tablet form factor. It comes with a physical keyboard so you don’t end up tapping away on a screen, and includes a stylus in place of the usual mouse. It also packs 4Gb of RAM, a 128GB solid state hard drive and a low power Intel i5 processor.

The Tap 11 would seem to be aimed at creative types, so Sony have provided some guidance on how you can use the Tap 11 and their VAIO Inpiration Suite to capture, edit and share your best ideas. Have a look:

How to use VAIO Inspiration Suite - Infographic

Courtesy of Sony

What do you think of the idea of a tablet / laptop crossover? Is it something you could see yourself using, or is it destined to be one of those products that doesn’t really know what it is? I think it’s a logical step for people who want to use a tablet but need the power of a laptop, but I’d love to know what you think.

Why not share your thoughts in the comments?

Sponsored Post -  I will receive financial payment for posting this article. Please be aware that I will never accept offers of paid posts where I am required only to give a positive opinion – objectivity is important to me and you can be sure that what I write, even in paid posts, is what I really think.